Spencer Nelson benefit hike supports local athletes
GRAND COUNTY – The Third Annual Hike for Spencer will commence on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the base of Mary Jane ski area.
The hike is held in memory of Spencer Nelson, whose life was cut short three years ago during a tragic climbing accident on Maroon Bells just outside of Aspen. Nelson was a native to Grand County and a top athlete for the Winter Park Competition Center and Division 1 Alpine racer for the University of Colorado.
Since The Hike for Spencer was founded two years ago, it has raised almost $70,000 for the Spencer Nelson Memorial Fund, Winter Park Ski Education Foundation. Money that was raised from previous events was used to pay fees and travel expenses for youths who were otherwise unable to participate in the Winter Park Competition Center. The Spencer Nelson Fund has helped 65 Grand County athletes with more than $30,000 in scholarships and has extra funding to help athletes who are pursuing their dreams of national-level competition in their desired sports. This year there were a number of athletes who received program grants from the Spencer Nelson Memorial Fund; All Mountain (11), Alpine (12), Freestyle (17), Freeski (12) and Snowboard (13).
Creating an extensive local support group and participation on the local and sponsorship levels is the biggest challenge The Hike for Spencer will be facing. The mission of the event is to educate local sponsors the benefits of investing in their Grand County youth by helping them become successful individuals through sports that highlight integrity, tenacity and sportsmanship.
The Spencer Nelson Memorial Fund’s mission statement is to assure every child in Grand County has the opportunity to participate in their desired winter sports. The Winter Park Ski Education Foundation was established in 1987 as a nonprofit organization and today is run by a group of volunteers. All funds raised by the foundation are used to support the training of athletes and competitors through the Winter Park Competition Center and assist athletes new and old to reach their goals of becoming a national-level athlete or even an Olympic champion.
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